According to Alphaliner, despite an already huge containership order book and distant delivery dates for ships due to be ordered later this year, carriers seem keen on a number of additional newbuild containership deals.
They say that activity has slowed down, but industry sources suggest that talks between shipowners and shipyards continue.
Yang Ming, for example, the only major carrier with no new ships in the pipeline, is making progress in negotiations to order a set of 15,000 TEU ships from a Korean builder.
The Taiwanese carrier has already disclosed to the stock market that it had launched a procurement process for such tonnage, but has not placed any actual orders so far.
Yang Ming originally invited shipyards to bid for the LNG dual-fuel tonnage, but reports from ship brokers now suggest the carrier asked potential candidates to bid methanol dual-fuel ships instead. The shipping line appears to have reconsidered its “green fuel” options as methanol has recently gained ground as an alternative pathway for cleaner, more sustainable shipping.
Methanol was initially championed by Maersk, but others have jumped on the methanol bandwagon with a fair number of large ship orders. This includes CMA CGM and COSCO-OOCL.
Methanol is also being considered for a number of deals for small and medium size ships in the 2,000 to 4,000 TEU size range that are currently being negotiated. However, details of these “talks” remain scant at the moment.